Sunday, 27 March 2005

The Bangkok Chronicles: Tired Feet and Tanned Skin

I spent most of the day sight-seeing today (having done most of my interviews already) and boy am I tired. Eight hours of solid walking around, boating around, and getting lost. Only thing missing was a tuk-tuk ride.

My main mode of transportation today was a boat going up the Chao Praya River. My first stop was a magnificent temple called Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn. It's one of Bangkok's most famous landmarks, and boy, was it cool. Here's what it looks like:

I also found THIS guy taking a nap, safely in the arms of a bodyguard.

After snapping a few hundred shots at Wat Arun, I crossed the river to Wat Pho, which supposedly has the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand.

Having had my fill of giant reclining Buddhas in Penang and Kelantan before, I decided to skip it, and wander around the compound instead. And I saw THIS guy:

Imagine that, a deity guardian with a top hat. Wonder if he can tap dance too.

Anyway, after Wat Pho, I decided to walk to the Grand Palace, which was just nearby. Unfortunately, I was on the other side of the front gate, and I had to walk almost 20 minutes around THIS damn wall:

Then, when I finally got to the front gate, I had THIS to contend with:

Sigh... I had to rent a pair of long pants to go into the palace grounds. NOT very nice when you're there at freaking NOON.

Anyway, this is where I was - The Grand Palace and the Emerald Temple (pictured here):

I wandered around here for a while. Very cool place, and very... GOLDEN. Everything here shines gold. Including THIS guy, who looked pretty happy considering he's made from stone and has to hold up a tower:

THIS guy don't look too happy though:

After the palace, I got lost a little, taking the wrong turn down a back-lane, and then hopping on the wrong boat, ending up on a deserted little pier somewhere under a bridge. Sigh...

After I finally got my bearings, I went to Khao San Road, which is like Petaling Street in KL, with lots of hawker shops, pirated CD stalls, and even loads of secondhand book stalls! (More on this in another post)

Eventually, eight hours and a nice tan later, I got tired of walking around, and hopped on a boat that took me back to the hotel.

All in all, a pretty good trip, I must say. Wish I had more time though...

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